Flu Emergency: When to Call a Doctor
What Are Some Serious Complications?
When to Call the Doctor
If you or your child get any of the following symptoms, get medical care at once. You may have a serious complication that requires treatment.
- Coughing up blood or green-tinged mucus
- Croup, which causes a loud barking cough
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish-colored lips or nails
- High fever
- Convulsions from fever (this usually affects children)
- Fever or cough that becomes severe or won’t go away
This serious illness occurs most often in children. It may follow infection with the flu or other viral diseases like chickenpox. It often happens after the child takes aspirin. Reye's syndrome affects the liver and brain. It’s rare, but it can be life threatening.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion and delirium
- Personality changes such as aggressiveness
Because of its link to Reye's syndrome, never give aspirin to children or teenagers unless your doctor says it’s OK.
What to Do in a Flu Emergency
If you or a family member has any signs or symptoms of a flu emergency, call 911 right away or go to the emergency room. Don’t wait.